The Hidden Costs of Marriage
You’ve done the hard part—finding your one true love in a world of billions! Congrats! Once the glow of engagement begins to fade, many couples are shocked to learn just how pricey it can be to tie the knot. If you aren’t lucky enough to have family support cover your dream wedding, your best bet is to set a realistic budget and do your homework when it comes to all expenses involved. Many couples opt to go with an online personal loan, in the form of a payday loan or fast loan online. Having one source of money go towards all wedding expenses can, in this case, be a smart move to avoid all the nickel and dime costs that add up before you know it.
The Wedding Cost Checklist
Before you say “I do,” be clear about what it is you’re agreeing to—beginning with educating yourself about average wedding costs. In the United States, the average wedding costs $40,000. Yes, let that sink in a moment because that’s a BIG number. For comparison’s sake, that’s close to what the average American household income brings in. Yikes.
And, that’s just the wedding. If you and your honey are planning any kind of pre-wedding events, like bachelor parties, engagement parties, or bridal showers, for instance, that’s going to cost you more.
Let’s not forgot an expense you might have already made—the engagement ring! If you followed the national standard of the “2 month’s salary rule” you may be coming into wedding planning with a significant chunk of change already spent. On average, most couples invest at least $6,000 on just the engagement ring. That’s only 1/3 of the jewelry needed for a traditional ceremony.
Working your budget to work for you
If you’re not able to pull out the checkbook and start making it rain, there are a couple options to finance costs. Nationally, the average couple ends up footing 40% of their own nuptial bill, while 10% pay for the whole enchilada. If you're budget is tight, make a list of the biggest expenses: reception and ceremony location, flowers and decorations, catering, photographer, wedding planner, etc. From here, you can start to see where you might whittle down some costs to make the budget more realistic. Do you have a friend who’s a hobbyist photographer? You might save $3k then! Can you get married in someone’s backyard? If so, you’d recap the $10-20k for a reception space. You get the idea. When everything is laid out before you, you might be surprised where you and your future spouse can skim on costs.
Now, what to do if you have your deal-breaker, wedding-of-your-dreams list before you and it’s still outside your financial comfort zone? Before reaching for the credit cards, consider looking into personal finance options. You may be surprised what you qualify for, and how easy it can be to set up one account in which to handle all wedding expenses from. In that case, you might get your happily ever after, after all.